You may have seen recent articles in the press about the increasing incidence of mobile number porting - where a person's mobile number is moved to a different mobile service provider by an unknown person. If this happens, you suddenly find you no longer have mobile service. You may first receive a message that tells you the porting is happening - generally when it it is too late to stop it.
How can number porting happen? What benefit can a thief get from stealing a mobile number belonging to someone else.
10/5/2019 0 Comments
A client of iTandCoffee was recently caught out by a scam that came in the form of a text. I visited her last week to check that there was nothing sinister left on her computer as a result of this incident.
The text she received said that her credit card had expired on her Apple account (which it had, a few months prior) and that she needed to update her details with Apple - so she gave away password and credit card information via a fake website, and provided a photo of her drivers license as proof of identity.
She realised pretty quickly that she had been scammed, and cancelled her credit card and changed her password.
But the fact that she gave a photo of her drivers license means she remains at risk of identity theft - as the scammer could use her ID to apply for credit, open certain types of accounts, or for other activities.
You may have already read one or more of the articles we published about email 'sending' issues suffered by several iTandCoffee clients in the first week of February 2019.
A common theme for each of these clients was that they used Google to find a phone number for Technical Support. Two of them found a number for Bigpond Technical Support, and the other for Microsoft Technical Support.
The question is: Did they really call Bigpond and Microsoft, or did they get a business that pretends to offer this support?
One of the clients did get caught out and call a fake 'Bigpond Support' number.
7/12/2018 1 Comment
By Heidi Mitchell
During the week, one of our very own iTandCoffee clients received a phone call from an automated voice telling her that the Internet was going to be disconnected due to the NBN being connected and that she needed to call a number to resolve this.
She hung up immediately due to a ‘gut feeling’ that something was off – great call!
First of all, NBN will never phone you out of the blue to try to sign you up to a service over its network. You will receive a letter in the mail advising you when NBN is going to be available and of any disconnection.
There is a site you can go to verify when NBN is scheduled to be available at your own address - and the date by which you need to switch over.
Recently, I have been seeing a huge number of my Facebook friends friend re-posting the same post (or slight variations thereof) - stating that Facebook is limiting posts from their friends and that, getting friends to leave a comment or sticker in response to their post will force Facebook to show posts from a wider range of their friends
A client of iTandCoffee forwarded me this email this morning, querying what she should do about a service she is supposedly being charged for - one which she wasn't aware she had. She wanted to know what to do about it. Here is the email she forwarded to me.
2/10/2017 0 Comments
Client Jeff T sent the following email to iTandCoffee recently:
"A friend's daughter had her bank account hacked when someone stole her mobile phone number. Yes, her number: not her phone. The first she knew of it was her phone stopped working and then an email message from her bank saying her account was now linked to a Samsung: she had an iPhone. Apparently they transferred the number to a new SIM and then used their phone to tap an ATM with phone access and withdrew $400. Optus and Comm Bank confirmed that this is what happened."
The theft of mobile numbers - which can happen if someone gathers enough information about you (via 'snail' mail theft, social engineering, or other means) to set up a new SIM in your name and transfer your mobile number to that SIM - has been reported at various times in the press over the last 12 months or so.
It is known as 'mobile number porting', and can happen when some is the victim of identity theft.
Can I request a 'password reset' text from my bank?
I must say that I did check my own bank account after receiving Jeff's email, curious to see if my bank (Commbank) would text a password reset link to my mobile number if I chose their 'forgotten password' option.
Fortunately, Commbank requires you to enter 2 pieces of information before it will send you a message with a 'password reset' link. You must provide a card number and your ATM PIN. If your PIN is easily guessed (for example, it is your birthday, anniversary, or your postcode), then you could be in trouble.
If you can't provide the required two pieces of information, then you would have to call the Commbank call centre or visit a branch - and presumably convince the person on the other end of your identity.
What does your own bank require? Can you request that a password reset link be sent to your mobile?
Do any of your online accounts send a 'password reset' link (or a password) to your mobile number?
It is worth definitely worth considering what might happen to all of your online accounts if someone was able to steal your mobile number.
I know that Telstra will send you a text with your Bigpond account password, as long as you provide a few identity details - identity details that are no so difficult to obtain if you are a scammer!
The person who steals your mobile number could then log in to your Bigpond email account. Once there, they could do a heap of password resets for your online accounts that use that email address - given that many online accounts will let you choose a 'forgotten password' option, and send an email with a link for resetting the account password.
Personally, I never use my Telstra Bigpond email address to register for any online accounts. That way, if someone was to get access to my Bigpond account, it would not be much use to them. For all my other online accounts, I have 'two step verification' in place (or two-factor authentication) as an extra 'layer' of protection'.
Here's an article from iTandCoffee about this extra security measure:
The issue with two-step-verirfication if your mobile number is stolen
If your mobile number is stolen, you should consider which of your accounts has 'two step verification' in place - where a text is sent to your mobile with a code to enter after you have attempted to log in with your username/email address and password.
While two step verification (or two factor authentication, if offered) is a 'must do' on all online accounts, it is of little value if your mobile number is stolen - especially if you have used the same password on lots of online accounts, and the thief/hacker has discovered that password. You will no longer receive that 'protective' number code - the thief/hacker will.
If ever you suspect you are the victim of the theft of your mobile number or any online account has been breached, act as quickly as you can to change passwords and contact your Telco and Bank.
If you need help with password resets (or any other security matters), iTandCoffee in Glen Iris can help. Just call 1300 885 420 to make an appointment.
How was Jeff's friend hacked?
For the example described above by Jeff T, I would wonder if the person involved had been caught out (perhaps without even realising it) by a phishing email, and given away her online banking details or other identity details, including her mobile phone number.
Or she may have had her email and password stolen from some website that had been hacked, and may have used the same password for other online accounts (a big no-no!).
She may have had an easy-to-guess PIN for her bank account.
Perhaps they had obtained personal information about her from her social media world; perhaps they had stolen statements or other letters from her letterbox.
While phone number porting scams are scary, I am sure that the scammers would not have been able to gain access to the victim's bank account simply by having a SIM with her mobile number.
You may have seen reports in the press last week about a lady in Melbourne who was scammed out of $46,000 when she fell for a phone scam.
Details are reported on the Victoria Police website: Police warning re iTunes card scam. Here is an extract from the article.
"The Hawthorn woman was contacted by an overseas scammer by phone earlier this month, who claimed to work for a major Telco.
Unfortunately, a client of iTandCoffee has also been very recently caught by this scam.
He was lucky that a staff member at the local Woolworths alerted him to the potential scam when he went to purchase $720 worth of iTunes cards.
Sadly, the shame and embarrassment this scam causes its victims can even lead them to not report what has happened to them.
In the case of our client, he had taken several days to call iTandCoffee.
The scammers had set up remote access to his computer so had been able to monitor what he was doing and access all his files during those days.
Please make sure you warn those you know who might be vulnerable. These scammers really can make those who don't understand technology believe what they are saying.
iTandCoffee can help if you (or someone you know) are caught out by this or other scams.
Call 1300 885 420 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was reading the Innovic monthly newsletter this week, and it included a handy link that I thought readers of our own iTandCoffee newsletter might appreciate.
It is a link to a site that allows you to check if your email address (or username) has been found on a list of details stolen from various well-known websites - for example, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Adobe, Yahoo.
This various websites were compromised at different times over the past few years, and email addresses, passwords and other details were stolen.
I found my own email address was listed twice on the 'hacked' list - for LinkedIn and for Dropbox.
I had already changed my password for these sites, but it was unsettling to see that I was 'on the list'.
Its worth checking your own email address, and then ensuring that you have changed your password details for any site for which you DO appear on the list.
Here is a link to the website:
Just in case you missed all the reports in the press last week, thousands of Windows computers worldwide were impacted by a ransomware attack.
The ransomware was able to infect computers on a network when any user clicked on a suspect link or downloaded an infected file that they received in an email.
Here is as article about this attack: WannaCrypt: what you need to know about the global ransomware cyber attack
An important thing to note is that the computers that were impacted were those that were not running the latest update to Windows. (Mac computers were not impacted by this attack, nor were Apple mobile devices or Android devices.)
Microsoft had already patched the vulnerability that the attackers took advantage of, and released the security update in March. So anyone whose computer was up to date would have been protected.
The big question is: How up to date is your own version of Windows? Are you safe from attacks such as this?
It might be time to check, and ensure that you install the latest update - and also check that you have current anti-virus protection from Windows Defender or a third-party product.
Contact iTandCoffee on 1300 885 420 if you need to make an appointment for assistance with this.
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